This year we’ve been a bit more pro-active about geography, and we’ve gone about that in two ways. First, we’ve started back up our country studies, we went back to India for some fun learning, and I’m still waiting to try out one of the meals from the international cookbooks I talked about earlier. Second, we spent some concentrated time memorizing the continents.
We went about memorizing the continents in two different ways.
1. Memorize the Continents game
Not too surprisingly this was my boys’ favorite version. You need an Inflatable Globe (affiliate link, I got mine from the good folks who taught Superman’s Magic Treehouse class when I saw them at Great Homeschool Conventions).
Get everyone standing around in a circle, and have everyone raise their right hand. Whatever continent they are touching with their right thumb when they catch the ball is the one they have to identify.
If they’re not touching any continent with their thumb than identify the closest continent to their thumb.
Play as long as you have time for, and your kids will learn quickly. I promise.
Seriously, my kids asked to do this game over and over and over again.
2. Memorize the continents by drawing them
I think I saw this idea first over at Homegrown Learners, but I could be wrong. I know I remember doing similar for learning how to draw as a kid, tracing great pictures over and over again.
But, you get a light box, mine is the Martha Stewart Crafts Craft Station (over the top I know, but I got it for Christmas from my Mom a few years ago and it’s been a great help).
Put a blackline map on your light box, I tend to use a printout from WonderMaps since I own that, but you can probably do a search for them online.
Now let your kids trace the map and become familiar with the shapes of the continents. My kids are mad for sharpies, and any project they’re allowed to use sharpies for instantly makes them happier.
Both of these activities are nice and simple, but sometimes simple works the best.
As a side note completely unrelated to memorizing the continents, thanks for all the well wishes on my last post. We are now safely home from our trip, and I’m the only one who is still somewhat sick. I’m typing this up from my sick bed because I’m well enough to be bored, but not really well enough to do much else. It kinds of stinks. It’s amazing how you can look forward to a trip so much and then also look forward to going back into a routine.